No more arrests for Mugabe insults

via No more arrests for Mugabe insults | News | Africa | Mail & Guardian 31 OCT 2013 12:41 REUTERS

Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has dumped a law against insulting the president, which has been used to arrest Robert Mugabe’s dissenters.

Zimbabwe’s highest court has scrapped a law against insulting the president that has been used to arrest opponents and critics of veteran leader Robert Mugabe, a court official said on Thursday.

In the last decade, dozens of dissidents have been arrested on charges of insulting the 89-year-old ruler. Some, including a leading opposition figure who called Mugabe a “tired donkey” ahead of elections this year, have been detained for weeks.

But the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that the offence of undermining the authority of the president and “communicating falsehoods” ran counter to the freedom of expression enshrined in the constitution introduced in March, a court official said.

“The Constitutional Court’s ruling is that these provisions are not in line with basic rights of freedom of expression,” said the official, who asked not to be named because the ruling has not yet been made public.

The minister of justice has until November 20 to appeal the ruling, the official added.

There was no immediate comment from the justice department.

Mugabe has been in power since the former Rhodesia’s independence from Britain in 1980, although he has been accused of stealing elections through intimidation, violence and vote-rigging.

He has never commented directly on the “insult law”, which was enacted when he became executive president in 1987. – Reuters



  • comment-avatar
    Inini 9 years ago

    So release people that are in prison or awaiting trial because of this!

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar
    Zvapasipano 9 years ago

    Leaders must learn to accept that as positive criticism and make change where necessary . Unotombotukitirwaka. Listen to the voice of the people

  • comment-avatar
    Charwadza 9 years ago

    I need a copy of the Constitutiona Court pleadings precedent.

    I have my own Constitutional matter to bring before the Constitutional Court and cant afford the services of a lawyer.

    Also, it would help if the Rules of the Constititutional Court, the Supreme Court and the High Court can be scanned and made publicly available by somebody with them.

  • comment-avatar
    William Doctor 9 years ago

    Who cares, he’ll be dead soon.

  • comment-avatar 9 years ago

    In a public office you are a servant, ‘civil servant’ and people can comment whatever they wish. ..The only way to avoid negative comments is to do what is right…..and even if you do good some people will call you many bad names. Lets the people say what they want. There is nothing to do as you know idleness is the devil’s workshop. Just give them jobs….and you will see a deafening silence and maybe some praises from the softies….kikikikiki

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 9 years ago


  • comment-avatar

    Ha ha ha! Sad day indeed. Infact there would be a new law that criminalizes insulting ” Ngwena” himself.